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The past decade has seen almost every business strive to become a global player, often at the expense of educating businesses closer to home. So EFMD, the Brussels-based business school accreditation body, has launched a tool to help its members measure and maximise their impact on local cities or regions.
“It does correspond to a need for some schools in communicating with their local environment,” says Gordon Shenton, special adviser in EFMD’s Quality Services Department, who has been working with three pilot schools in Hungary, Switzerland and Spain to test the Business School Impact Survey.
The survey involves the school working with EFMD on a three-stage process: to identify the impact the school wants to measure; put in place the data collection process; and evaluate why impact is important. “Our role is to help the school to understand better where they are having an impact,” says Prof Shenton.
Prof Shenton believes the survey tool will be of use to those business schools that have a strong global presence as well as those more regionally-focused schools. “You have to work at the local roots as well as the international agenda.”
In the UK, the government’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which measures the quality of research at UK universities, including business schools, has included an impact assessment for the first time this year.